Saturday, February 28, 2009

The 'Fiction' of Dystopia

Case I

Hardfire: Dr Zak Maymin (website) interviewed by his son, Dr Phil Maymin re his book, "Publicani":

Hardfire's motto "Live Free or Die" is reminiscent of the inspiring Greek national battle cry:

"Ελευθερία ή θάνατος"
(Freedom or Death).

Case II

Glenn Beck's Worst Case Scenario Games

Part 1/4

Part 2/4

Part 3/4

Part 4/4

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Al Gore Sued by Over 30,000 Scientists for Fraud

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"Triumph of the Will", or Defeat of Delusion

On display tonight is a full length National Socialist gem, a propaganda film directed by German artist and photographer, Leni Riefenstahl featuring the 1934 Nazi rally at Nurnberg.

Like Hitler's blueprint for war "Mein Kampf" the classic may well be on the index of some countries in Europe, but it proves that censoring and suppression is a mistake: "Triumph des Willens" - or "Triumph of the Will" - is a revelation as well as an education.

We need to keep in mind that Corporal Hitler was elected into power just a year earlier, in 1933 on a narrative of restoring to its former glory the Fatherland, home of the victims, the German People.

They saw themselves as victims on a number of counts. First of all, of the greedy, selfish, materialistic Anglo-Saxon liberal Capitalism; then from the perspective of the Marxist dialectic, which views the world entirely from a oppressor versus oppressed agonistic.

Furthermore the defeat in World War I for which the Jewry, Communists and other subversives were blamed in a Sorelian myth (the Dolchstoß Legend), was a third contribution to the self image as an underdog. The harsh terms of the Versailles Treaty did the rest for the narrative of victimhood.

World War I had been wholesale slaughter and the Versailles Treaty was no joke. Can you blame a people, a leader or a party for fostering and furthering the ideal to right such a wrong? Many righteous Germans, other Europeans and Americans thought not.

Sir Winston Churchill wrote in his Nobel Prize winning "Memoirs of the Second World War": ""I had no national prejudices against Hitler at the time. I knew little of his doctrine or record and nothing of his character. I admire men who stand up for their country in defeat, even though I am on the other side. He had a perfect right to be a patriotic German if he chose. I always wanted England, Germany and France to be friends."

On the ideological level we find in the title of the movie a somewhat curious statement: the triumph of will, but whose will? Corporal Hitler's? No, its a notion that can be traced back to the collectivist philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose ideal society can best be summed up as a theofascist tribe, having replaced the role of the sovereign ruler with the community's under the State. That entity was thought of as having an animus of its own - the 'common will' -  the infallible standard of morality to whose sovereignty all drones have a duty to answer and submit.

Corporal Hitler, the National Socialist Party and all that happened as a result, suddenly doesn't seem that enigmatic anymore!

For whatever reason, today we don't speak of the will so much anymore. In Postmodern times it's all about subjectivity, personal taste and "if it pleases us". So, ways are found to pleasantly manipulate us. And when that's the case we may suddenly find it in our hearts that, "Yes, we can". The pragmatism is the same though: we do whatever we want because, hey ... it's Us!

Finally, we can now witness for ourselves the curious observation made frequently by historians: the pounding rhetoric - not just of victimhood - but also of peace and concord from the man we now know to have been responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the last century.

Here's one of Riefenstahl's master pieces, "Triumph of the Will". More on her formidable legacy on this site.

- Filed on Articles in "History Compiled" -

Launching February 16!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Flick Review: "Che"

PJM: "Will the Real Che Guevara Please Stand Up?", by Henry Gomez

In the movie Che, Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro plays an Argentine thrill seeker-cum-murderer who helped turn Cuba into a Stalinist state. That Argentine was Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, better known as “Che.” The movie is actually two films that total just under four and a half hours. Yet despite those 263 minutes of celluloid, important aspects of Guevara’s personality and deeds are omitted. Things like, you know, the truth.

There’s a bit of poetic justice when a man who indiscriminately killed others in order to impose a system devoid of capitalism is now the world’s greatest t-shirt salesman.

Unfortunately, Guevara is also venerated in Hollywood, thus explaining the reported $60 million cost to make Steven Soderbergh’s bore fest of a hagiography. The cop-out used by Soderbergh and del Toro to justify this marathon of an abomination is that it’s the story of a “complex” historical figure living in “complex” times; his desired ends justified what are normally unjustifiable means. Yet since the film’s opening on December 12, 2008, to date it has recovered a measly $922,347 in the U.S. As such, the movie Che bears one important similarity to the real Che; it’s highly celebrated by some even though it’s a complete failure.

Despite the considerable mythology built up around his image, the real Guevara was a bumbler who never accomplished anything except as Fidel Castro’s wing man and executioner during the Cuban insurrection of the late 50s. Even there, the Castro propaganda machine embellished his greatest “victory.”

Guevara’s lackluster record began as a young man when he enrolled in medical school. Historians can find no concrete evidence of him ever obtaining a degree and he certainly never practiced medicine. One of Guevara’s fellow rebels who fought alongside him told me Guevara only had a cursory knowledge of medicine. When Castro came to power in 1959, Guevara made a fool of himself as Cuba’s “economics minister.” Later, Guevara failed dismally in his attempts to launch insurrections in the Congo and Bolivia, where he ultimately met his demise in 1967. Guevara was also, by all accounts, a lousy husband and father.

Read it all >>>

See the flick's slideshow